Federal Enlistments in Ireland.
[From the Irish Times
,) Jan. 18.]
They who profess to believe that Ireland
can yet spare a million and a half of her inhabitants will be cheered by the intelligence from Washington
has advised that the "bounties" given to recruits should be increased.
The sum hitherto given to an emigrant who enlisted was £140 "cash," or £155 if he had served one year and reenlisted.
Even this enormous bounty has not attracted a sufficient number of victims to the Northern
, perhaps, have heard from those on whom they can rely that death or mutilation for life is the certain fate of the recruit.
They may have learned that a crisis must come when treasury notes will be worthless, and their dreams of a pension will be dissipated.
The offer to increase a bounty already so large, proves that the Irish, to some extent, have been warned and that a higher price must be offered for their blood if the Union
armies are to be recruited.
The sum proposed to be raised for "bounty" is 150,000,000 of dollars.
This is to be raised in "Treasury notes." We may consider this nominal sum to be equal to £3,000,000, deducting discount and depreciation.
Such a sum as this could not be required for bounty alone.
's message to Congress furnishes us with an intimation of the purpose for which it is intended.
In the opening sentences of his message, Mr. Lincoln
lamented that while thousands beset the offices of the American Consuls
abroad, entreating to be assisted to emigrate,
no regular organization for the encouragement of emigration existed.
He advised the immediate establishment of an extensive agency for assisting emigrants.
The agency in part already exists.
It can be increased and extended.
provides it with moans; for this fourteen millions is intended plainly to pay, not only the passage money of emigrants to New York, but the bounty when they get there.
Earl Russell, at Blairgowrie
, stated that if the Foreign Enlistment Act
was found to be deficient, he would propose a new bill early in the ensuing session.
His whole thoughts were then directed to the seizure of the two steam rams concerning which the world has heard so much.
They were supposed to be intended for the Confederate
service, and that was sufficient to induce Earl Russell to legislate anew.
If the Foreign enlistment Act does not answer Earl Russell so views as regards ships, it certainly does not meet the ends of justice, fairness or neutrality, as respects men. An army of 75,000 at the very least has been recruited for the Federals
within the last two years. In vain has the public voice called upon Government to interfere.
The answer has uniformly been "emigration cannot be stopped, " and "the Foreign Enlistment Act
does not meet the case." The answer is probably true.
We accept it, but we require that if the law is to be made more stringent in the case of ships, it must also be made more stringent in the case of men.
Neutrality is a perfect farce and a delusion, if by neutrality is meant that the Confederates
shall not buy two fighting ships, but that the Federals
shall buy the sinews and blood of 75,000 men. If the law is to be altered in the one case it must be altered in the other.
Of course we will be told that it is difficult to find a remedy.
So it is; but we pay our ministers most liberally in order that they may meet and overcome difficulties.
The Ministry have at their command all the legal ability of the law officers of the Crown; all the acumen of those Whigs who claim to be born statesmen, all the hereditary cleverness of the founders of those few families who monopolize the Government
and the patronage of these countries; they have the assistance even of their opponents in Parliament; of all public writers and experts in international law. They must meet the difficulty, or vacate their places for those who will.
The case is a plain one.
We find a continuous stream of emigration from Ireland
We see that it consists chiefly of able-bodied men of the military age — we find that this stream sets ever to one country, and that country a belligerent.
We lose the stream at New York to find it again at Chattanooga
, at Knoxville
, at Alexandria
, in Texas
, or before Charleston
We read a fearful list of Irish names in the roll of the dead and wounded alter an engagement.
We find, too, the President
of the United States
directing that a system for the encouragement of emigration should be established, and that the bounty should be increased; and then we find fourteen millions of pounds allotted for the purpose!
The whole machinery of the law is put in motion at Liverpool
to punish one agent who is supposed to have induced four men to enter a Confederate steamer.
Has the Civis Romanus
not one word to say to that foreign belligerent who offers £14,000,000 for the encouragement of emigration and the payment of bounty?